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Yonge-Dundas Square/Sankofa Square (Brown + Storey Architects)

My two cents:

* The reason behind this renaming seems beyond silly. Either Dundas is bad or it's not - rename the whole thing or don't. (It's clearly a face-saving gesture by city council to make up for the fact that they went too gung-ho for renaming Dundas.)
* Yonge-Dundas Square should have a name beyond its physical location descriptor. But despite having choices among all the famous Torontonians past and present, or anything even remotely tied to our history, they go with a word in a language that has very little to do with Toronto.
* It reeks of a corporate decision - so banal and featureless as to hopefully offend no one, but offensive because it is so banal
* All that being said, I don't really care about the name (or the square) and they can call it whatever
 
...welp, the jury is back @interchange42 and delivered the verdict that this is probably a good start upon further thought and reading. They just now need to think of redesigning the whole bloody place from the ground up, making it less like a Time Square knock off and making it our own, IMO.

Thank you for you and your colleagues taking the time in explaining a more nuanced explanation of what's going on here. /bows
 
Doesn't matter what the name is, it's still going to be a sketchy filthy hell hole of the city. New same isn't going to stop people from doing drugs and using the square as a public toilet. I cut through the square to a job site at 5 am last week. It was scary, the drug addicts are hunched over sleeping while standing up, and diarrhea was all over the steps leading into the square. 🤮

I'm not in that area very often, but I've noticed a remarkable increase in the amount of private security in the Yonge-Dundas area. Just about every store/ office building, food court has multiple security guards. I saw at least 6 guards man handle a homeless person who was high on drugs in a food court in the path recently. No wonder people want to work from home these days. The downtown is in a sad state.
 
Just because *you* had a homophobic experience there doesn't make it "the single most openly homophobic place in the city".

In the end, it's more of a "crazies problem" than a "homophobia problem". And even crazies-wise, it's far from a Vancouver Downtown East Side (or "Queens Park during Freedom protests") situation. So the best advice is, don't let down your guard, even if it's a "popular" public space in the heart of the city and, as such, might lead some to be complacent. No different from the advice given to travelers at popular tourist and/or transit hubs worldwide. (Indeed, speaking of transit, this might as well all relate to the homeless-on-the-TTC discussion point, and how that can scare the unfamiliar.)
I mean there are consistently street preachers saying gay people are going to hell outside the Eaton Centre, where else does that happen in Toronto? That was my point there, although maybe I could have been clearer about that. To be fair, I probably should have made it clear that the attempted assault and the homophobia are somewhat separate issues, that are just two examples of how this is a space with bigger issues than its name.
 
I mean there are consistently street preachers saying gay people are going to hell outside the Eaton Centre, where else does that happen in Toronto? That was my point there, although maybe I could have been clearer about that. To be fair, I probably should have made it clear that the attempted assault and the homophobia are somewhat separate issues, that are just two examples of how this is a space with bigger issues than its name.
Ironically, the street preachers might be claimed as a backhanded emblem of the *success* of Y-D Square--or, for that matter, of Y-D before the square, when it was just the then-open corner atrium of Eaton Centre upon it. Remember: long before they put in the actual square, it was *already* Toronto's de facto Times Square, the hub of buzz and action and as such, a magnet for those crazy street-preacher types. And in that Times Square way, they're not there to harass you per se (other than through generic words, of course), they're there to bait wide-eyed rubes who are amenable to their pitch, no different from three-card monte dealers...
 
Doesn't matter what the name is, it's still going to be a sketchy filthy hell hole of the city. New same isn't going to stop people from doing drugs and using the square as a public toilet. I cut through the square to a job site at 5 am last week. It was scary, the drug addicts are hunched over sleeping while standing up, and diarrhea was all over the steps leading into the square. 🤮

I'm not in that area very often, but I've noticed a remarkable increase in the amount of private security in the Yonge-Dundas area. Just about every store/ office building, food court has multiple security guards. I saw at least 6 guards man handle a homeless person who was high on drugs in a food court in the path recently. No wonder people want to work from home these days. The downtown is in a sad state.
Until people stop being bleeding hearts it will just get worse. The poor poor drug addicts. Let's give them free hotels to stay in and free food. It's a sad state we live in that homeless and mentally unstable people are literally making feel unsafe to simply walk around downtown.
 
I do not want to be flippant, but if Dundas was not "abolitionist enough," find a Canadian who was, hopefully with a catchy name, and use that. Easy. It's historic, it's Canadian, it is part of our history and it serves as a counter to the fact that Dundas was not abolitionist enough for present moral standards. Everyone gets a little something something.
 
I do not want to be flippant, but if Dundas was not "abolitionist enough,"…
I thought Dundas was an abolitionist, just a pragmatic one.

I find it ironic that we’re going to use a Ghanian phrase when there would have been no British slavery if the west Africans, including Ghanians had not provided the slaves.


The reality is that nearly all who were sent across the Atlantic in chains were enslaved by Africans…slaves were the primary export of many kingdoms in western and central Africa, including the Asante in Ghana.

With this in mind, why on earth would we use a Ghanaian word to celebrate our city’s downtown square and meeting place?
 
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I thought Dundas was an abolitionist, just a pragmatic one.

I find it ironic that we’re going to use a Ghanian phrase when there would have been no British slavery if the west Africans, including Ghanians had not provided the slaves.


The reality is that nearly all who were sent across the Atlantic in chains were enslaved by Africans. Roughly 90% of the slaves sent across the Middle Passage were enslaved by African traders and then sold to Europeans along the coast. Other leading scholars believe that the percentage is actually much higher. The leading role of Africans in the slave trade was a necessary one. The slave trade took place before Europeans colonized the continent of Africa, and white traders exercised little influence beyond their coastal trading posts. Only African societies could extract slaves from the interior of the continent, primarily by taking captives in wars or kidnapping in raids. The vital role of Africans in the slave trade made for a highly profitable business for many African societies, lining the pockets of local rulers and of the many ordinary people who became involved in the trade. As Professor Gates notes, slaves were the primary export of many kingdoms in western and central Africa, including the Asante in Ghana.

With this in mind, why on earth would we use a Ghanaian word to celebrate our city’s downtown square and meeting place?


Not trying to turn this into a political thread, but he was an abolitionist. It's pathetic that we're doing all this, over someone that tried to help abolish slavery. His only issue was that he wanted to do it in stages cause he thought giving them complete freedom at once might be to much of a shock to society and cause even more problems. Regardless of the strategy or method, his agenda was still to try and abolish it. Welcome to cancel culture.
 
Considering the square needs work, and the city is broke, this was the perfect opportunity to sale the name rights to a company willing to pay for the Improvements needed and name change, so the city wouldn’t have to spend tax dollars. That’s what TMU is doing for Dundas Subway Station already.
 

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